Championship Weekend

WAMEGO – On a beautiful but chilly November Saturday morning, Chapman junior Taylor Briggs glided to her third consecutive Class 4A State Championship in Cross Country on the hills of the Wamego Country Club.

Briggs ran one of her best races of the seasons as she dominated the Class 4A field winning the 5K race with a time of 19:00.05 while her closest competitor, KC Piper freshman Grace Hanson finished over 30 seconds later at 19:31.01.

According to Brigg’s coach Cindy Zumbrunn averaged a ‘smokin’ time of 6:07 per mile.

“Taylor has had another amazing season and our school and community look forward to having her back for one more year,” Zumbrunn said. “I don’t even have to coach a kid like that. She always runs a good race. She is never really satisfied with her time but she does an excellent job anyway.”

The overly humble Briggs was happy with her run but she really wanted to break the 19-minute mark.

“My time was not really where I wanted,” Briggs said. “I wanted to do better with my time, but I got out there and did what I supposed to do. This offseason I am going to try out for the Nike Nationals in Oregon. I am actually going to South Dakota next weekend for tryouts.”

Briggs’ time on Saturday was faster by at least 10 seconds than that of the other two state championships running the same course. Ellinwood junior Erin Hammeke claimed the Class 2A gold medal with a finish of 19:12.28. Earlier, Lincoln High School junior Jaycee Vath took home Class 1A title at 19:11.33.

Jentrie Alderson of Southeast of Saline High School had a better time on this Saturday as the sophomore won the Class 3A title at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence with a winning time of 18:50.3 to finish ahead of Beloit sisters Hannah and Hayley Burks. Hannah Burks finished second in her final high school cross country race with a time of 19:33.9 and her twin sister Hayley crossed third at 19:47.4.

In the Class 5A championship, sophomore Hope Jackson from Bishop Carroll ran 18:17.9 on the Lawrence course. Katherine Moore of St. James Academy finished second at 18:48.1. Blue Valley sophomore Victoria Wingrove took Class 6A honors at 18:24.7.

Briggs and Rose Hill freshman Kyrsten Lucent ran together until the third turn in the Wamego course when Briggs took the lead to finish well ahead of Hanson and Moore.

Cowboys run well for

first time at State

Abilene senior Aaron Geissinger ran the best time of his career in his first appearance at the Class 4A State meet. Geissinger finished 37th at 17:54.24. Abilene freshman Grant Waite ran 47th with a first state meet time of 18:06.04.

“Nothing better than running your PR race at the state meet your senior year,” Abilene head coach Andy Cook said of Geissinger. “That’s what fairy tales are about. That’s awesome. I am so proud of Aaron and honestly Grant ran 30 or 40 seconds better than he ran earlier this season here in Wamego. He put on a good race too. This was a fast meet. Those leaders were cookin it. To be in the top 40 or top 50 in the 4A race is pretty awesome. We would like to be higher than that but that is for us to work on next year.”

“My year started off a little rough,” Geissinger said. “But, I came into a team of completely new people. Getting to know them and running with them were fun. I just hope to establish a culture that a lot of people can look forward to.”

“All year was fun for me,” Waite said. “I love running with this team, it’s a fun team. Our coaches help us a lot in practice. I am really glad Aaron got up there and ran a good race today too.”

Girard junior Cormick Logue took the Class 4A boys crown with a finishing time of 16:13.30. Topeka Hayden sophomore Tanner Newkirk finished a close second at 16:26.11.

Team wise, Buhler High School took home Class 4A titles in both boys and girls competition. Wamego boys were state runners-up.

Cross Country Championships:

At Wamego

Class 1A Girls

Jaycee Vath, Lincoln 1st (19:11.33); Madison Sutterfield, Meade 2nd (19:48.14); Macy Smith, Olpe 3rd (20:10.50). Boys

Jaley Vilert, Beloit-St. John’s 1st (16:22.97); Collin Oswalt, Hutch Central Christian 2nd (16:49.49); Cameron Delaney, Osborne 3rd (17:03.58). Teams: Berean Academy 49, Axtell 54, Beloit-St. John’s 62

Class 2A Girls

Erin Hammeke, Ellinwood 1st (19:12.28); Madelyn Russell, Ellis 2nd (19:20.48); Sybil Giefer, Trego Community 3rd (19:37.76);

Boys

Henry Nelson, Bishop Seabury 1st (16:36.09); Trevor Pentlin, Jeff Co. North 2nd (17:02.30); Nicholas Martisko, Inman 3rd (17:06.70); Teams: Stanton County 40, Richmond-Central Heights 48, KC Christian 122

Class 4A Girls

Taylor Briggs, Chapman 1st (19:00.5); Grace Hanson, KC Piper 2nd (19:31.01); Trinity Moore, Louisburg 3rd (19:39.86); Teams: Buhler 60, Baldwin 74, Eudora 76

Boys

Cormick Logue, Girard 1st (16:13.30); Tanner Newkirk, Topeka Hayden 2nd (16:26.11); Tanner Lindahl, Buhler 3rd (16:45.82); Teams: Buhler 95, Wamego 107, Tonganoxie 108

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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